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Old 08-07-2016, 12:15 PM   #1
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Help in Buying Used Class C

Hi Everyone,

We are new to the RV lifestyle and have been doing a good amount of research on what RV to buy that fits our needs/budget. Was hoping those who have a good amount of experience can share their opinion on what to watch out for, what they would have though about in hindsight after having it a number of years. We have a small family (2 young kids) and want to use it in spring/summer/fall in Oregon for state parks, beach, tailgating, usual outdoor stuff (no winter activities)

Our Budget is 35k tops. Here is what we think we have narrowed it down to.

Class C
Gas, RWD
Less than 50k miles on it
Rear bed, with sleeper over cab as well

Will be using this for lots of short, frequent trips within 200-300 miles of us in Oregon. Probably go around 15 times a year. Want a shorter coach to make sure we can get in all the state parks around here.

Any advice would be appreciated if think we are searching in the right area. We don't want to jump fully in to a very expensive RV without testing the waters first.

Thank you and looking forward to being part of the forum.

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Old 08-07-2016, 02:43 PM   #2
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Other than having probably considerably more miles than what you're looking for Cruise America: Buy a Used RV or Motor Home
and El Monte RV | Used RV Sales | Used Motorhome Sales from El Monte RV | El Monte RV have some interesting options.

2014 Itasca Spirit 31K
2016 Mazda CX5, on an Acme tow dolly, 4 trips 5800mi
Now 2017 RWD F 150 with a drive shaft disconnect
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:57 PM   #3
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FWIW I have generally seen 30 foot as the issue, not 25. The difference will be huge inside. We are in the NE with some of the other oldest, smallest campsites. The one's we cannot use are walkins with a parking spot for the car. The rest will take our 30 ft without problems.

The best advice to give anyone is to go into the unit and sit everywhere you expect to sit, especially the toilet and dining setup. Look at the TV screen when sitting in the seating. Take off your shoes and step into the shower and lay on the bed. Pretend you have to make the bed and get your clothes. Shoes back on, check the kitchen to be able to make a meal. With the slide in get out of the front seat and go to the bathroom. Check the refrigerator on the way. By that time you will know what will be the most annoying problems.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:01 PM   #4
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Help in Buying Used Class C

I agree with nothermark, Class C between 28-30 ft will go anywhere. I went from a 40' Pusher to a 29' Class C just so I could go to all the places we missed being in a monster. Never found a place we couldn't access. But lile nothermark was indicating it is night and day between a 25' to 30'.If you are just moving everyday the 25' is workable but if you stay a few days the 25' will wear you down quick. Also, try to get the lowest milage you can as experience tells you that if for some reason you have to sell higher milage will kill you on the resale. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:59 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone, appreciate the advice. In terms of driving a 25' vs 29' is there much of a difference? Or at that point 4 extra ft from a driving perspective doesn't change things much or at all? I agree that in looking at the 25 vs 29 that the extra space would be nice.

That was one thing I was thinking about as well was for short (2 days) frequent trips the drive ability of it.
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:56 PM   #6
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I have a Minnie Winnie 23' Class C. There are longer ones. I bought mine new last year and except for one minor problem with a bath vent, it has been problem-free. Best purchase I ever made!

You can probably find a used Minnie for the price you indicated.
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Old 08-08-2016, 04:02 PM   #7
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Just to give you an idea about what you can get in a 26', this is what we have...


The exterior length is 28' 3". We can take it almost anywhere, and going up to 30 feet would have taken away from the weight that we can carry, and been harder to park. The larger unit also had more "tail swing" (the distance from the rear wheels to the bumper) which increases the possibility of hitting something when turning, and bottoming out when going over a dip.

Try to get a unit that was a single owner, with good service records, and check the date codes on the tires.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:39 AM   #8
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I second a Minnie Winnie. They are still around making new ones and from I've seen, they are very responsive to questions.

And if you are in the mountainous area of Oregon, I understand the desire for a shorter one. I live in NM with lots of mountains and the thought of going up and down them with a 30 footer or longer....
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Old 08-09-2016, 01:57 PM   #9
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We fulltime in a 31' Coachmen with a Ford Focus S/W as a toad and have never had a problem parking in state parks or RV parks. The extra room with two kids would be worth it! Just my opinion! Bought it two years ago with 14,000 miles on it for $31K
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:32 AM   #10
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Not sure if I sm over thinking!

I am new to the idea of RVing. I recently retired and want to hit the road and see all I have missed by working.

I have researched the heck out of RV's and I a stuck on a few points but not sure if hey are really deal breakers... Need your advise.....

1. Must have Walk around bed. I think making the bed is easier and getting in and out of bed is easier.

2. LED lights

3. No step up to bedroom. I am afraid in middle of the night tripping.

4. U shape dinette. Looks more comfortable.

5. Gas, I am afraid diesel is harder to find repairs places

I am a female traveling alone, so safety is of the upmost importance. My budget is $50,000. max.
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:29 PM   #11
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Motor home

We just bought a used 23ft Four winds, it turns like a pickup

My advice would be as follows.

If you pull a trailer get a diesel, otherwise gas will be fine.
LED lighting through out, if not do it yourself. Saves the battery life.(if room get 2 batteries) make sure they are the same type, don't mix types.
Make sure it has a spare tire and get AAA.
If your doing trips into colder climate make sure they have heaters for the waste water tanks.
Back up or rear camera is essential.
I think most newer coaches have seat belts.
Check warranty status if used.
Jest a few
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:37 AM   #12
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FWIW A U shaped dinette is fine for trapping small children. After that it is a PITA as you will sit on a bench end anyway. With a U shape most of the table is out away from you. With a bench seat most of the table will be next to you and probably in reach.
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:43 PM   #13
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alot of 25s will be closer to 27 bumper to bumper. not much difference in the way you drive a 25 to a 30. back up camera helps alot. newbees have a problem with the height more than anything. take your time and look at alot of different makes and models, make a list of what you like and dont like and narrow the field to 3 or 4. least amount of miles you can get is best. when you find the one have it professionally inspected and do a carfax or vehicle vin search so you know about what you are getting. not always fool proof but better than nothing. good luck.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:32 PM   #14
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Hey, like you we set out to find the best motorhome to fit our needs this last spring but were totally clueless what to look for. Lucky us, we found an older unit with very low miles that will let us practice this year and decide what we really need and if we enjoy all the camping. ...and it was cheap!

So far, we have camped just about every weekend since May and made a couple week trip thru California. (Oh yeah, we're from Oregon also!). We love our choice, figure to use it a few years then probably upgrade.

Here's my list of can't live without: Working AC, gas/electric fridge, furnace, LED lights (you can always add later), GENERATOR! with batteries (Ours gets used to run AC keeping the dogs cool when we're out playing), toilet, walk around bed!!!, water heater.

It's easy to add stuff like TVs and stereo.

We have an outdoor stereo. Nice but not a deal breaker. Also outside shower, haven't used yet. Maybe for the dogs? We even have battery tender onboard for the van battery and a switch that will connect the house battery to the van for starting if the van battery won't. Nice but not a deal breaker for me.

A slide out would be very nice. We didn't get one... It was a budget thing and I'd say next time, that will fit the budget. We've been condo campers for years so I was maybe over cautious on this purchase not knowing if we'd like it.

I'm most likely going to add portable solar.. just because.

We got a 28 foot and after the first couple of trips, I am totally comfortable driving and parking. Like you, I was concerned about county/state/fed campground length restrictions. The length is good and a slide would make this unit perfect. The chassis is a ford e350 with the 460 motor. Pretty bullet proof.

Check tires and brakes... Expensive to replace.

Someone earlier said to sit everywhere. Good advice.

Good luck! We've love ours!

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